I have been going to the gym now since October. Since then I have hummed and hawed over going to a fitness class, specifically a yoga class. My personal trainer suggested it would be a good way for me to gain some strength and I liked the idea of being in a class with other people. I figured it would give me the opportunity to meet more people in the community. Also I really wanted to try to blend the reflective and contemplative sides of Christianity with the health benefits of yoga.
I have committed to trying yoga out once a week until the end of the month when I will sit back down with my trainer and talk through the next leg of my exercise journey. So far I have to say my results are mixed. I am happy with most of the exercise poses, but there is one where I am lying on my back with my knees in the air and I am told to rock back and forth which makes me feel…idiotic to be blunt. For the record I am also not a big fan to turning towards people and thrusting my pelvis forward.
Never the less the first 45 minutes of the 60 minute class normally go well. The final 15 minutes are where things begin to fall apart for me. That is the time where we are supposed to enter into a quiet, prayerful, meditative state. The problem is I am lousy at entering into prayerful, quiet, meditative states.
I didn’t have the audacity to snap a ‘selfie’ of myself trying to meditate but here is a pretty good visual representation of what was happening in my mind;
Whenever I try to, as we Christian say, ‘be still and know God’ I feel like some part of my mind is lobbing random thoughts at me like dodgeballs. It is almost like I am two people. One part of me wants to be still, to pray, to meditate while another part of me just wants to chit chat about every little thing! It is like there is a Christopher that wants to meditate (CWM) and a Christopher who is easily distracted (CED). If you were to eavesdrop on my thoughts during yoga today this is roughly what you would have heard;
CWM– (Quietly reflecting on God)
CED– Oh wow, look at me meditate, I am doing good, I’m not thinking really at all. Yep I am just sitting here soaking in God’s presence. Oh wait! I am thinking about how I’m not thinking.
CWM– Be quiet…
CED– Oh now I am thinking about thinking I’m not thinking. Oh and NOW I am thinking about thinking about thinking I’m not thinking. I think that’s right…is that too many thinks? I am not sure
CWM– Shhhhhh, quiet I said I am trying to meditate on God!
CED– Right, right, right
CWM– (Trying to reenter prayer posture, focusing on breath prayer e.g. Bless the Lord, Oh my soul)
CED– Oh did I hear that phone chime, I wonder if it’s the instructors to say we are almost done (opens eyes) Nope, nope it’s only been like 3 minutes, what is that music she is playing? It kind of reminds me of music from Final Fantasy.
CWM– Praying……Bless the Lord….
CED– HEY! I should do that! Next time I try to do this contemplative stuff I should listen to music from Final Fantasy. I wish they would make a Final Fantasy game as good as IX, and X again. Actually I wish they would make a new Mega Man game, the board game looks cool but kind of pricey, but maybe if enough people buy it
CWM– OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD CHRISTOPHER! STOP ‘TALKING’! Multiple times a week you speak on behalf of God to people can’t you sit and be serene in God’s presence for 10 freaking minutes?! (Back to prayer posture)
CED– What should I have for lunch. I kind of want to pick something up, should I though? I really shouldn’t
CED Sorry, sorry prayer right
CWM– Bless the Lord, Oh my Soul
CED– I should probably blog about this….
CWM– Oh I give up!
I think out of the 15 minutes worth of silent time I spent 3 minutes doing something remotely akin to prayer and meditation. I guess there is always next week, right?